Book Review: Through the Woods

Posted January 8, 2015 by Kara in book review / 6 Comments

Book Review: Through the WoodsThrough the Woods by Emily Carroll
Published by Margaret K. McElderry on July 15th, 2014
Genres: graphic novel, horror, retellings, young adult
Pages: 208
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
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four-half-stars

'It came from the woods. Most strange things do.'

Five mysterious, spine-tingling stories follow journeys into (and out of?) the eerie abyss.

These chilling tales spring from the macabre imagination of acclaimed and award-winning comic creator Emily Carroll.

Come take a walk in the woods and see what awaits you there...

This is an extremely difficult review to write because I don’t think I’ve written a single review of a graphic novel before. But I had to tell you all about this one. Through the Woods was easily one of my favorite books of 2014, but I finished it on New Year’s Eve and so it didn’t make it to the End of the Year Survey.

The moment I saw the cover of this book, I knew I had to have it. The artwork just spoke to me. I knew nothing about Through the Woods at all when I purchased it – I didn’t even know it was a graphic novel. But I’m so happy I took the plunge and splurged on this title because it is a beautiful addition to my shelves, both inside and out. The artwork on the cover is just a glimpse of the beauty that is to come between the pages. The entire book is in full color, too, which I thought was impressive and it really excited me. (I’m so used to manga which typically only uses color on the cover.) The artist uses a very simple color pallet for each page, which I think does justice to the quietly terrifying stories.

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Now, the stories. These retellings aren’t exactly what you’d expect. They hold the horror of the original tales – do not expect some Disney-fied adaptations here. But what’s more is that Carroll adds her own spin on each fairy tale. Of course, they harken back to the original, but every story has its own surprise ending that I didn’t expect. It became a game almost, reading this, because you knew there was a twist coming, but they were written so perfectly, you couldn’t really figure them out until they hit you full-force in the face.

emcarroll

I had never heard of Emily Carroll before picking up Through the Woods but hers is certainly a name I’m on the watch for now. Not only has she mastered the art of suspense and horror, dishing out the gore right when it was needed, and holding back long enough to create the best kind of tension – her artwork is the kind I’d like to frame and hang on my walls. Consider me the newest Carroll fan; I will be looking out for any and all future work. Seriously, if the cover and these pictures call to you at all, you really need to pick this one up and read it. In one sitting, though. And maybe not at night.

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bekka

6 responses to “Book Review: Through the Woods

  1. I don’t typically read many graphic novels (or any at all, really), but your review has me really intrigued! Like you, the few graphic novels that I have read have always been purely in black and white, so the promise of full-colour illustrations is a particular draw. It doesn’t hurt that the illustrations themselves are so striking, either! I also love that Carroll puts her own unique twist on each story. I’ve often preferred the darker, Grimms’ Fairy Tales interpretation of most of these stories, and I would be interested to see what the author does with each one. Your review has definitely convinced me to step outside my comfort zone and give this graphic novel a try! Thanks, Bekka. 🙂
    Jen @ Pop! Goes The Reader recently posted…May Your Days Be Merry and BrightMy Profile

  2. OOoh nice review! This is one my bestie tried to get me for Christmas, but Amazon ran out or something…so the whole order she got for me is being held hostage until every single book is available. I think she was trying to get the paperback version, and there was one other that wasn’t available. Of course when I gave her the list everything was there. So weird. But it basically leaves me dying to read this one! I already checked out one of the books I asked for from the library. Still need to read that, but might check to see if they have this one too! I love my books and always need a keeper copy!

    Glad to hear that this was good! I thought it looked good when I perused the pages at the bookstore one day! Hopefully Amazon ships it soon…but I swear my friend said something about March…:o
    Jessica @ a GREAT read recently posted…Random ThursdayMy Profile

  3. I actually bought this based on your review, and oh god it truly is gorgeous isn’t it?! I can’t even thank you enough. Though I’m not sure my TBR pile or whishlist (or my bank account for that matter) thank you for all your reviews and recommendations! Love this blog so much though xx
    Em @ bookw0rmtales recently posted…Review: Red Rising by Pierce BrownMy Profile

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